Hillary Clinton was all smiles at the release of her new book, but the failed presidential candidate should be anything but happy, because the book, titled “What Happened,” is full of excuses, lies and fake news.
Crooked Hillary, as President Trump calls her, is in complete denial about why she actually lost the election. My colleague and friend, Gregg Jarrett, has put together a list of 32 reasons Clinton has given for why she lost. And the list grows and grows and grows as Clinton blames everyone and everything but herself and her terrible campaign for her defeat.
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White supremacists, voter ID laws, James Comey, Bernie Sanders, Facebook, Russia, WikiLeaks.
“And then let’s not forget sexism and misogyny, which are endemic to our society,” Clinton told CBS on its “Sunday Morning” show.
There is an alternative list of reasons for Clinton’s humiliating loss to President Trump. Topping it is the secret email server, on which she illegally sent and received sensitive government information makes the real list of reasons why she lost.
Clinton’s team deleted 33,000 emails using BleachBit — in other words, acid wash — after being served with a congressional subpoena. An aide also smashed those old mobile devices with a hammer. Can’t get the emails from there. Just as bad, members of the Clintons’ legal team did give the FBI Blackberries, but those Blackberries didn’t have SIM cards in them, rendering them meaningless.
Comey didn’t hurt her on this issue, he covered for her.
Also on the list is the crooked work of the Clinton Foundation, which took millions and millions of dollars from countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE and others – countries that treat women, gays, lesbians, Christians and Jews horribly.
Then there was the Uranium One deal, in which Hillary Clinton was one of nine people to approve the transfer of up to 20 percent of America’s uranium — the foundational material for nuclear weapons – to the Russians. The folks who profited from that deal ended up kicking back as much as $145 million to the Clinton Foundation.
And what about Hillary’s vow to put coal miners out of work and her refusal to campaign in states hard hit by the Obama economy?
Clinton’s own list of excuses is as pathetic as she is delusional. She can’t come to grips with the reality that she was a terrible candidate with no message, no vision for the American people.
The real reason she lost? Americans chose wisely on Nov. 8.
Adapted from Sean Hannity’s monologue on “Hannity,” Sept. 12, 2017
The director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, has branded WikiLeaks a “hostile intelligence agency,” claiming it represents a threat to US national security. The group has been accused of swaying the 2016 presidential election.
In his first public speech since being appointed as CIA chief, Pompeo on Thursday said WikiLeaks was often abetted by other countries, adding that the group had “no moral compass.”
He claimed that – rather than opposing dictators and autocratic regimes – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was guilty of siding with them.
“WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service,” Pompeo said.
“I am quite confident that had Assange been around in the 30s, and the 40s and the 50s, he would have found himself on the wrong side of history. We know this because Assange and his ilk make common cause with dictators today.”
Pompeo said that while WikiLeaks claimed to be a champion of freedom, its members were more interested in their public profile.
“They try unsuccessfully to cloak themselves and their actions in the language of liberty and privacy, but in reality, they champion nothing but their own celebrity. Their currency is click bait. Their moral compass – non existent.”
Red faces for US officials
Last month, WikiLeaks published almost 8,000 documents saying they revealed secrets about CIA cyber espionage tools. Previously, it released 250,000 State Department cables and embarrassed the US military with logs from Iraq and Afghanistan.
WikiLeaks dump exposes CIA eavesdropping
US intelligence agencies claim Democratic emails released by WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential campaign had originally been hacked by Russia to swing the election against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton – in favor of Republican Donald Trump. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has denied that the release was intended to influence the election.
Before the November election, Trump said he was happy to see WikiLeaks publish private and politically damaging emails from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta.
Trump ‘extremely concerned’ by WikiLeaks CIA release
The White House has vowed that those behind the disclosure of confidential information would face serious consequences. Reports suggest that the leak likely came from employees working for CIA contractors. (09.03.2017)
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The “Vault 7” documents published by WikiLeaks show us how the “Internet of Things” (IoT) has great potential, yet is also susceptible to remote espionage. So how do I get the internet out of the devices? (12.03.2017)
Julian Assange documentary to air in the US
Oscar-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras’ long-awaited documentary film on controversial WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will make its television debut in the United States. (10.04.2017)
Wikileaks founder Assange questioned in London over rape allegations
Prosecutors have been questioning WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. Investigations are linked to allegations that Assange committed sexual misconduct in Sweden in 2010. (14.11.2016)
NOW PLAYINGTrump: ‘Wiretap covers a lot of different things’
A remark that President Trump made to Fox News on Wednesday isn’t sitting well with the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, who is now suggesting that the commander-in-chief’s comments, if true, could be compared to the actions of government leakers.
In an exclusive interview with Fox’s Tucker Carlson on Wednesday night, President Trump suggested “the CIA was hacked and a lot of things were taken.” He added “that was during the Obama years. That was not during us.”
The president may have been referring to the recent publishing of what are alleged to be CIA documents and hacking tools by the website WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claims that the leaks are real, and highlight what he calls the “devastating incompetence” of the agency’s cybersecurity. The CIA has yet to confirm whether the materials are, in fact, authentic.
On Thursday, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, took serious issue with the president’s suggestion that the agency was hacked. And Schiff says that, if true, the president’s comments are akin to the actions of those who leak government secrets.
“It would be one thing if the president’s statements were the product of intelligence community discussion and a purposeful decision to disclose information to the public, but that is unlikely to be the case,” Schiff said in a statement.
He added that while he thinks “the president has the power to declassify whatever he wants… this should be done as the product of thoughtful consideration and with intense input from any agency affected. For anyone else to do what the president may have done, would constitute what he deplores as ‘leaks.'”
A Fox News poll released Wednesday shows a record 73 percent of voters have confidence in the CIA, up from 67 percent in December.
In recent weeks, the president has made clear his distaste for leakers. On February 24, the president lamented on Twitter that “the FBI is totally unable to stop the national security ‘leakers’ that have permeated our government for a long time… Classified information is being given to media that could have a devastating effect.”
Critics point to his support for WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign as evidence to the contrary. “I love WikiLeaks,” then-nominee Trump said during campaign remarks in October.
The investigation into possible CIA hacking isn’t the only thing over which Schiff seems to be at odds with Trump. On Wednesday, Schiff and House Intel Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) repeated their assertions that they have yet to see any evidence that supports the president’s claim that Trump Tower was the subject of wiretapping.
And on Thursday, the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee took that assertion one step further, suggesting in a statement that they have seen no evidence that Trump Tower was under surveillance “by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016.”
In a March 4 tweet, the president suggested that “Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory.” When asked on Wednesday why he didn’t withhold comment until he had proof of his claim, President Trump told Tucker Carlson “don’t forget, when I say wiretapped, those words were in quotes… [T]hat really covers surveillance and many other things. And nobody ever talks about the fact that was in quotes, but that’s a very important thing.”
New Fox polling also suggests that 76 percent of voters think President Trump should produce documents to back his claim about the wiretaps. That includes 63 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of independents.
The Department of Justice has until Monday to comply with an order from the House Intelligence Committee to gather evidence related to President Trump’s surveillance claim, though Rep. Nunes suggests he expects some of that evidence on Friday.
Monday is also when the committee expects to hold its first open hearing on Russia’s interference in the 2016 race and possible contacts between Trump associates and Russia. FBI Director Comey is expected to face direct questioning at that hearing, and it isn’t just the House that’s looking for answers.
Senator Lindsay Graham suggested earlier this week that subpoenas aren’t out of the question if lawmakers don’t get the information they’re looking for.
“Congress,” Graham said, “is going to flex its muscles.”
I enjoyed the show “House of Cards” but always felt that it went a bit too far, that its plot wasn’t plausible. After seven weeks of President Trump, I owe “House of Cards” an apology. Nothing seems impossible any more.
That includes the most towering suspicion of all: that Trump’s team colluded in some way with Russia to interfere with the U.S. election. This is the central issue that we must remain focused on.
There are a lot of dots here, and the challenge is how to connect them. Be careful: Democrats should avoid descending into the kind of conspiratorial mind-set that led some Republicans to assume Hillary Clinton was a criminal about to be indicted or to conjure sex slaves belonging to her in a Washington pizza restaurant. Coincidences happen, and I think there has been too much focus on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, not enough on Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign manager. Here are 10 crucial dots:
1. President Trump and his aides have repeatedly and falsely denied ties to Russia. USA Today counted at least 20 denials. In fact, we now know that there were contacts by at least a half-dozen people in the Trump circle with senior Russian officials.
2. There’s no obvious reason for all these contacts. When Vice President Mike Pence was asked on Jan. 15 if there had been contacts between the Trump campaign and Kremlin officials, he answered: “Of course not. Why would there be?” We don’t know either, Mr. Vice President.
3. There were unexplained communications between a Trump Organization computer server and Russia’s Alfa Bank, which has ties to President Vladimir Putin. These included 2,700 “look-up” messages to initiate communications, and some investigators found all this deeply suspicious. Others thought there might be an innocent explanation, such as spam. We still don’t know.
5. A well-regarded Russia expert formerly with MI6, Christopher Steele, produced a now-famous dossier alleging that Russia made compromising videos of Trump in 2013, and that members of the Trump team colluded with the Kremlin to interfere with the U.S. election.
The dossier quoted a Russian as saying that a deal had been arranged “with the full knowledge and support of Trump” and that in exchange for Russian help, “the Trump team agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue.” James Clapper, the American former national intelligence director, says he saw no evidence of such collusion but favors an investigation to get to the bottom of it.
6. Trump has expressed a bewilderingly benign view of Russia and appointed officials also friendly to Moscow. He did not make an issue of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during the campaign.
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7. A Trump associate, Roger Stone, appeared to have had advance knowledge of Russia’s disclosures through WikiLeaks of Hillary Clinton campaign emails. As early as August, two months before her campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails were released, Stone tweeted: “Trust me, it will soon [be] Podesta’s time in the barrel.” In October, six days before a dump of Clinton campaign emails, Stone tweeted: “Hillary Clinton is done. #Wikileaks.”
8. Sessions seems a red herring, in that he wasn’t a secret conduit to the Kremlin. The more interesting dot is Manafort, whom investigators have focused on because of his longstanding ties to Russia.
9. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia,” Donald Trump Jr. was quoted as saying in 2008. Russia may have gained leverage over Trump through loans to his organization or other business dealings. The way to ease these suspicions would be to examine Trump’s tax returns: Any government investigation that doesn’t obtain Trump’s tax returns simply isn’t a thorough investigation.
10. Even many Republicans acknowledge, as President George W. Bush put it, “We all need answers.” The House and Senate Intelligence Committees mostly operate behind closed doors, while we yearn for transparency. What is desperately needed is an independent inquiry modeled on the 9/11 Commission.
When friends press me about what I think happened, I tell them that my best guess is that there wasn’t a clear-cut quid pro quo between Trump and Putin to cooperate in stealing the election, but rather something more ambiguous and less transactional — partly because Putin intended to wound Clinton and didn’t imagine that Trump could actually win. Yet I wouldn’t be surprised if the Trump team engaged in secret contacts and surreptitious messages, and had advance knowledge of Russia’s efforts to attack the American political process. And that would be a momentous scandal.
One reason I’m increasingly suspicious is Trump’s furious denunciations of the press and of Barack Obama, to the point that he sometimes seems unhinged. Journalists have learned that when a leader goes berserk and unleashes tirades and threats at investigators, that’s when you’re getting close.
The Consulate General of the United States of America is pictured in Frankfurt, Germany March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski – RTS11XP5
One of the revelations about the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt, Germany, that has come from the WikiLeaks release of CIA files is that American spies can use the facility for hacking databases that are not connected to the Internet.
The anti-secrecy group’s dump this week of nearly 8,761 CIA files confirmed that the consulate is a base for covert and overt CIA operatives. It also provided a window into how American spies operate in Europe and – most importantly — why Frankfurt has been so valuable for a specialized form of computer espionage.
“Germany is central to the rest of the European Union, which minimizes overall travel time to reach physical locations in any other country there. Since the types of attacks described [in the WikiLeaks documents] required physical access to computers, being able to get there quickly via train or other forms of transportation would be vital,” Nathan Wenzler, chief security strategist at San Francisco-based security consultancy AsTech Consulting, told Fox News.
“Even a one-hour flight to reach a neighboring major city would allow for faster response than, say, a seven-hour flight from the east coast of the U.S,” he said.
“Trying to hack a system that’s connected to the Internet doesn’t really require physical proximity, so, like most nation-state intelligence agencies, it’s easier and more effective to just run those sorts of attacks from within your own borders,” Wenzler said.
“Frankfurt would allow for a more ‘social engineering’ style of hacking, where the agent would need to gain physical access to a system by convincing the people around it to allow the agent to use it. Since that would require moving people around to get to those destinations, having a central location like Frankfurt to use as a hub for your operations just makes logistics more simple and reduces the time needed to execute,” Wenzler added.
Paul Innella, CEO of TDI, a cybersecurity services firm headquartered in Washington, D.C., that works with the U.S. government and private sector clients across the globe, said the leaks have set the CIA back years.
“Things change fast in the cyber world and we need to carry out our missions of intelligence gathering, unencumbered by leaks such as this.”
The CIA won’t respond, the agency’s spokesperson Heather Fritz Horniak said: “We do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents.”
But a number of technology experts, federal law enforcement, and members of Congress believe the documents are authentic.
Germany’s chief federal prosecutor has launched an investigation into the alleged hacking operations, but Innella said the U.S. may have secret agreements with Germany to assist its government, and noted spies and a state-sponsored hacking activity are “effectively untouchable” while in that domain.
The voluminous number of CIA documents represents just 1 percent of what Wikileaks has obtained from the CIA, but has already revealed to the world some of the spy agency’s most prized cyber tools. The CIA has the ability to spy on its targets through their smartphones, computers, and some televisions, and has researched ways to hack into the electrical systems of automobiles. There could be nearly 1 million files and documents yet to be released.
Germans have known since at least 2013 that the Frankfurt facility, the largest US Consulate in the world, is CIA territory. According to German media, DW, the consulate became “the focus of a German investigation into U.S. intelligence capabilities following the 2013 revelation that NSA agents had tapped Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone.”
Malia Zimmerman is an award-winning investigative reporter focusing on crime, homeland security, illegal immigration crime, terrorism and political corruption. Follow her on twitter at @MaliaMZimmerman
A larger majority would take pressure off Mrs. May in the negotiations to leave the E.U., the result of which Parliament must approve, and allow her to claim her own personal mandate as prime minister. But she has vowed not to hold an election before the next scheduled vote, in May 2020.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has accused Germany of using “Nazi practices” to block him from campaigning among Turks living there for a constitutional referendum at home that would expand his powers. In remarks to Parliament, Chancellor Angela Merkel called the Nazi comparison “sad and incredibly misplaced.”
In Ankara, the prime minister also accused Germany of pushing for the referendum’s defeat, which he said would backfire.
•The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, moved to seize the moment after his organization released a new trove of classified information about the C.I.A.’s cyberweaponry.
Famously, a panel of literary experts made the choices over lunch and sherry around an oak table. Their credibility built the fledgling club’s membership.
They had hits like “Gone With the Wind” and “The Catcher in the Rye.” One miss was “The Grapes of Wrath.”
While critics viewed the club as middlebrow, it became a powerful literary institution in the U.S. Its influence diminished with the spread of bookstore chains in the 1980s and further declined with online bookselling.
But some of us still want to be guided by their judges. As an early club brochure said, “What a deprivation it is to miss reading an important new book at a time when everyone else is reading and discussing it.”
Adeel Hassan contributed reporting.
Your Morning Briefing is published weekday mornings and updated online.
We now know that somebody either leaked or hacked into CIA files that explained how U.S. intelligence is tracking enemies of the nation.
WikiLeaks, again, says it has released almost 9,000 documents from the CIA Center for Cyber Intelligence.
A Wall Street Journal editorial put it this way:
“The losses from this exposure are incalculable. These tools represent millions of dollars investment and man-hours. Many will now be rendered moot as terrorists or foreign agents abandon traceable habits.”
So again, ISIS, Al Qaeda, other killers now know how the USA is tracking them.
Therefore the leaks are a treasonous act.
According to the Reuters news agency, the CIA breach happened during the Obama administration.
“The Factor” has learned that some of the computer systems used by the agency are more than 40 years old, easily hacked into, easy targets of theft.
We have also been told that bids are out to high-tech companies to upgrade the computer facilities of our intelligence agencies.
That will cost tens of billions but is absolutely necessary in this very dangerous world.
But no matter how sophisticated the hardware gets, we still have people committing treason inside the government.
We reported on that Tuesday night.
Since taking office, President Trump has been bedeviled by leaks, with classified information being fed to the anti-Trump press among them.
So now we have a growing catastrophe. Obviously the CIA and other intelligence agencies cannot protect their secrets.
And so far only a few individuals have been charged with violating national security.
In 2013, then-Private Bradley Manning was convicted of six Espionage Act violations plus theft and computer fraud for giving stuff to WikiLeaks.
Just before he left office, President Obama commuted Manning’s 35 year sentence, allowing him to leave prison on May 17th after seven years.
Many objected to the leniency shown Manning.
Talking Points believes that leakers of classified documents are actively committing treason.
And it’s apparent that the federal government does not have a handle on how to apprehend these traitors, much less stop the espionage.
America is the most sophisticated country in the world, but we cannot protect the private conversations of our leader, our intel secrets, and our counter-terrorism measures. We can’t protect them! Obviously, a dangerous situation.
President Trump should order the FBI to aggressively investigate all leaks and hacks, assigning that a top priority.
Wednesday Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee requested a meeting with FBI Director Comey on the hacking and leaks.
Mr. Comey should do that as quickly as possible and it should be televised.
Americans need to know if this situation is completely out of control or what.
Adapted from the “Talking Points Memo” on March 8, 2017.